Distressed produce presents challenges - The Packer

Distressed produce presents challenges

03/29/2012 08:33:00 AM
Armand Lobato

As my regular readers know, Russ T. is my imaginary, miniature produce manager that I converse with now and then.

Russ T.: After last week’s column about culling, I’ve been preparing for the follow-up.

Me: I saved space for you. Last week we covered how culling improves sales, but today the topic is: If you have a lot to lose, what to do with all those culls?

Russ T.: Well, first thing in regard to handling a lot of culls is avoid it in the first place.

Me: Of course.

Russ T.: But yeah, just last week I culled a whole end cap of pineapple. The fruit was okay but the tops dried up on me practically overnight. Filled up two shopping carts.

Me: So did you cut them and try to sell as halves?

Russ T.: Think you could sell that many halves in a day, aisle boy? Sure, a few went to the cut program. We used some for cores, and also as an ingredient for melon trays. That took up about a third.

Me: That still leaves a lot to work through.

Russ T.: Culls aren’t good enough for primary sales, but sometimes are still edible. The key? As long as something represents a value to a customer, find ways to not lose money.

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